Some people with epilepsy go through testing and become candidates for BRAIN SURGERY. When successful, surgery can eliminate seizures in some patients.
I can remember the day when my husband’s new neurologist first suggested that he may be a candidate for surgery. I was torn between panic, amazement, and a strong desire to knock him out. Sitting here now…15-ish years later, it sounds so horrible, but I just could not believe the reality that brain surgery actually could happen and work. It seemed so “in the movies.”
The road traveled was long, with so many tests, appointments, safeguards it’s mostly a blur. Some things are more clear than others. An extended stay in a special hospital room with EEG hookup to record seizure activity. That stay included taking away meds. That stay included more seizures than I think any human being ever needs to be exposed to. There was the anxiety I tried to mask with a brave face and rehearsed words. That anxiety had funny ways of escaping – like rear-ending a car on the “one week until surgery” day. No major damage – just spilled coffee and an awareness that I wanted to freak out, but chose not to. So many nails were bitten…it’s amazing there was anything left.
Surgery was about 11 hours. Eleven of the longest hours I have ever spent. I remember the surgeon coming out giving good news, and all I could see was the tiny spot of blood on his scrubs. I waited until my husband’s whole family had turns in ICU to see him until I went in. I cried. I was so scared…I thought for sure he would wake up with no memory of me and my life would be over….but it was a chance I was willing to take for him. Taking all that medicine and still having seizures was holding him back, and it wasn’t fair. He needed his chance to live without limits. The nurse told me to go home and rest, and I almost fainted on my way out…I stopped to rest in the women’s restroom until I felt steady and drove myself home with more tears.
The rest is nothing short of miraculous. When my husband woke up he was still him…sore and weak and tired, but just the same. In all these years I have never found anything that makes me think that he “lost” something in surgery. Only his seizures. His recovery time seemed fast…soon he was mobile…and as hair was growing back staples were being removed. Time passed, still no seizures. Medicine slowly weaned away, still no seizures. A miracle. A second chance. A life with no limits. So.Totally.Worth.It.